Happy New Year! It' got to be better than the last one.
I managed to paint two more figures before the ball dropped. Finished early in the day, actually. Two more old Grenadier "Future Wars" figures, that should wrap up the figures I need for the moment for the gangs/punks/starport scum/etc. factions in Five Parsecs. Full pic of the group on the Five Parsecs page (see below/above) On to another faction!
- I enabled comments again. I'll see how that goes. If I start getting inundated with spam again I may shut that option down again. One of my concerns is getting flagged as a phishing or malware site because of the spam posts. I've seen that happen on other blogs, and there are few that are sadly completely blocked by my anti-virus software.
- Since I'm hoping to start playing some solo sci-fi games (Five Parsecs from Home is the current game plan) I've added a couple of static pages to the blog to track my painting progress & my crew. Links are near the top of the page.
As usual, I posted a list of goals for 2021. They weren't necessarily planned as a strict checklist, but just things I was looking forward to doing. As it turns out, 2021 was a bit of a garbage year, even compared to 2020. Some of the smaller painting challenges I look forward to each year, like Orctober and my own habit of painting a giant or two in April passed me by like a speeding car. I never had much time to give them more than a sad passing thought.
Painting: The focus for the first half of the year was completing my Old World Army Challenge 4 project. This was my third year participating and unlike past years, I barely made it through several months. Unfortunately it was sometimes difficult to find any painting time at all, which created a gloomy feel of obligation sometimes. But at the core, it was something I had really been looking forward to and the real problem was the rest of my schedule not allowing for much personal time. Looking back, I'm happy with the Eldar and really enjoyed experimenting with color, writing the entries, and in particular the Gothmower.
After the OWAC was finished, there was a bit of a lull in painting until the end of the year. I was completely off target in terms of my predicted "goals" but the trade off is that I made significant progress towards having enough painted figures to start a Five Parsecs campaign! A few more 'bots, some "supporting characters," space worms, Spiders From Mars, Astro-Zombies, and a variety of ne'er-do-wells. I even built a new photo board, a tiny bit of terrain, and a basic 3'x3' board for games.
Otherwise, I think all I painted was a handful of undead, including a "Life & Death" pair that I plan on following up with in the future. Literally & figuratively.
Gaming: Unfortunately, this was an utter bust. I had wanted to do either another solo Sellswords & Spellslingers campaign, or try my hand at Rangers of Shadow Deep. Neither happened. I thought maybe I could at least take a set of solo sci-fi rules for a test drive, but didn't get a single game (though I did roll up a random Five Parsecs crew!) We didn't do much in the way of family board/card games all year. At the end of 2020 I was really hoping the pandemic would improve -- and it did briefly -- enough for some actual face to face games with old or new friends. Back a few years ago I had planned on making 2021 a "year of gaming" to get back some of the old joy as a 50th birthday gift to myself. (I turned 50 in December.) But the world had different plans.
Shopping: OK, this isn't a category or a goal. Just an observation. I bought more new figures in 2021 than in any other year in recent history. Maybe subconsciously trying to compensate for lack of gaming, blogging, friends, etc. and the struggles with painting? I got several Midlam Miniatures kickstarter rewards (more hobgoblins, townsfolk, hobbits), sci-fi figures from Skull & Crown (space dwarfs), Satry Art Studio (sister marines), Khurusan (space raptors and human sci-fi guard/soldiers), misc. bits for a small skirmish project in the Althammer "New World" (Messoamerican fantasy), some LotR warg riders for conversion to Hobhound cavalry, and a couple of orders of misc. figures from Badger Games and RPE (mostly sci-fi stuff.) Now that I've cataloged it, maybe it's not THAT much. But I've kept pretty tight reins on new acquisitions for a long time, trying to match my pace of purchases with my painting. This year was out of balance, I guess. Time to ramp up the painting!
Looking Forward to 2022
- Old World Army Challenge 5. I'm painting undead the first six months of 2022. You can read about it in my intro post. I'm looking forward to this, although after last year's project the bar is set somewhat (intentionally) low. But as long as I meet the basic requirements, I've got "add ons" planned so I can scale it up if I want.
- More sci-fi/Five Parsecs. I want to play some games, and I've still got quit a bit of enthusiasm for this, so I will continue to paint more as time allows. Specific plans include those listed below, some pics of the unpainted on the Five Parsecs page.
- Planetary nomads/scavengers (Copplestone & Grenadier)
- Soldiers/mercenaries (Khurusan)
- Salvage Team (Skull & Crown)
- Soldiers/mercenaries (Satyr Art Studio)
- Robots (various)
- Pirates/Raiders/Vigilantes (Stargrave, if I can get motivated to build plastic figures)
- A dragon. I have several cleaned & primed but for some reason I've been intimidated by the idea of not living up to the task of painting one. More specifically painting a non-undead one, since I have painted skeletal and zombie dragons in recent years. I don't know why I've got such a mental block on doing this but 2021 is the year to overcome this!
- A Tale of Two Hobs
- Hobgoblins/hob-orcs aka half orcs. I still have the figures from the last Midlam KS to paint, and a handful of GW LotR wardg riders that I plan on converting to hobhound cavalry.
- Hobbits. I've been saying I'll get back to the halflings & rest of the Jackrabbit Trading Company for years, but never quite get around to them. Maybe this year...?
- Terrain. I need sci-fi terrain to play games! I have also been wanting to make more large trees like the one I did for my Wood Elf Old World Army Challenge project. (Though storage of the trees is a bit of a problem.) I also have a resin inn I bought a couple years ago that I'd love to paint up & use in some home-brew Sellswords scenarios.
- Anything will be a step up from 2021.
- Five Parsecs. I have a crew rolled up, a solid start on a pool of adversaries, and started on terrain. Hoping to start up in the first half of the year.
- Sellswords. I should return to this. I enjoyed my first campaign in 2020. Provided I can get my table cleared off (need to figure out a way to store all the sci-fi figures I painted last year!) all that I need is time.
- Alternately I still wouldn't mind trying Rangers of Shadow Deep.
- Games vs. other humans? I have no idea whatthe pandemic and my schedule will allow. But I can dream.
- I wouldn't mind trying to get my family to try some of the above games as co-op instead of solo.